We are often asked about the studio so thought we should give you a short history of why it’s here…
Fleetwood Studios has been here for around 12 years. It’s built in a stunning old converted barn on a large farm just outside of Reading, and gives over 1,000 sq feet of studio and an additional large green room and offices too.
The barn was first converted to a studio by Keith Hicks, the first owner. Keith spent many years as a cameraman and wanted to provide a facility near the M4 (He lived in Basingstoke) essentially, a creative quiet space for projects that he had. He used the studio for his own work and gradually started to sell the space as a dry hire facility. He installed the lighting grid initially with a 12 channel analogue lighting system (Zero 88 ID1216) which has long since been replaced, and gradually built up the kit within the studio.
The beauty of the studio is both the space and the location. Firstly the location is just fantastic. It’s really easy to get to from Reading and London but rural enough to have lots of parking and a tranquil setting. Despite the snow picture above we have never actually had the road closed to traffic !
The building is also fantastic. The huge walls provide soundproofing and the high vaulted roof space gives lots head space for lighting. The studio infinity cove is made of steel and is built onto the fabric of the walls. It’s mainly painted white and gives a very large infinity cove that is pre-lit.
We used to use the studio as a dry hire space for filming our own content for companies like Waitrose. We loved the studio the very first time we saw it. Around 4 years ago during the summer we called Keith to make a booking. Keith told me he was retiring and moving to Wales and wanted to sell the studio but meanwhile we could still use it if we wanted. (That was on the Friday morning) – On the Monday of the next week we met Keith at 10Am and by 11AM had bought the place. We are that passionate about video the decision was simple – By the Wednesday we had moved in and Keith had gone to Wales. Sometimes things are just meant to be.
Over the past 4 years we have continued to do what we love. We love the space, we love the people that we meet and all the crews and clients that come here love the place too. The shoots have gone from the normal corporate shoot all the way to the strange (the reindeer) People come back – Some have been coming for years some are new.. Everyone is welcome.
Over the past 4 years we have changed many many things, we have decorated, upgraded all the furniture, installed projection screens, installed more updated lighting in the studio, changed the studio grid lighting replaced the Xero88 system, upgraded the WiFi capability, put in a complete 4K vision mixer, improved the sound quality, and gradually improved what Keith had initially created. We even put in a really good coffee machine.
But we didn’t take away everything that Keith had done, if you look closely at the studio there is a store room – It’s called the Keith Hicks room.
So that’s the short history of our studio we love it here and hope you will too.
ps – It’s called Fleetwood Studios for no other reason that Keith called it that – Something to do with Fleetwood Mac. Maybe someday we will change the name but not for the moment.